On the Waterfront

By Aung Thet Htwe 20 March 2015

RANGOON — About 50 local and foreign architects, along with members of the Association of Myanmar Architects, took a sightseeing tour of the Rangoon River on Thursday for a new perspective on the city’s downtown skyline.

Organized by the British Embassy for the Yangon Art and Heritage festival, architects from the UK were invited to share their experiences with their young Burmese counterparts as part of a four-day architecture workshop. Participants on the evening boat cruise discussed their ideas for protecting and preserving Rangoon’s unique architectural heritage.

A number of colonial-era structures still occupy the downtown area of Rangoon, threatened by decay and new developments sparked by a relentless property boom.

“It is really key to try and come up with a plan that preserves what is good about the old, and but is also progressive,” said Anna Bardos, one of the tour participants. “It’s not about keeping it wrapped up as a historic thing. It’s about making it work well for the modern culture of the people here.”